If your child has dysgraphia and poor handwriting speed, what can you do to help?
Poor handwriting speed can be a frustrating issue for children, especially if they are expected to keep up with their peers in the classroom. In today’s digital age, typing may be a helpful solution for children who struggle with handwriting.
According to Amundson (1995), the average typing speed of a child aged 10 is about 10 to 12 words per minute and when that child reaches an age of 14 their writing speed increases to around 16 words per minute. If your child has a learning difference such as dysgraphia their handwriting speed will be significantly slower. Their handwriting can be illegible and difficult to read. Dysgraphia is a nervous system problem that affects the fine motor skills needed to write. It makes it hard for a child to do handwriting homework or classwork.
As a Parent you will be worried at your child’s slow handwriting speed so what can you do to improve it. Try these tips to help improve your child’s handwriting skills and make lessons more productive and enjoyable for you and your child.
- Use a research-based handwriting program. Your child’s teacher may recommend one that suits your child.
- Provide short bursts of handwriting exercise instead of long, drawn-out sessions. Many kids with dysgraphia need to work on fine motor skills. Activities such as colouring, cutting, painting, model-building, working with clay, working pencil mazes, and threading beads will increase dexterity and build fine motor skills.
- Schedule handwriting practice time for 15 minutes a day.
- If your child can’t remember how to form letters consistently, writing them correctly at times, but incorrectly at other times. This could be a sign that he has problems with your child’s working memory.
- Work on correct letter formation by using multisensory methods and techniques that don’t require writing. Finger writing in the air, in the sand, in shaving cream, or on sandpaper are all great exercises that can encourage improvement in proper letter formation.
If your child’s handwriting speed doesn’t improve within six months using the techniques described above. Then it might be worth looking at introducing technology to assist your child with his / her writing skills. The best way would be to introduce your child to a computer and keyboard and learn how to touch type. Touch typing is being able to type without having to look at keys on the keyboard.
One of the main benefits of typing is that it allows children to communicate their thoughts and ideas more quickly. When writing by hand, children may become slowed down by the physical act of writing, which can hinder their ability to express themselves fully. By typing, children can input their thoughts onto a screen at a faster pace, allowing them to better keep up with their own ideas and thoughts.
In addition to improving communication and expression, typing can also help children improve their spelling and grammar skills. When writing by hand, it can be difficult to catch and correct mistakes, but when typing, children have the ability to use spell check and other tools to ensure that their writing is error-free. This can help improve the overall quality of their writing and boost their confidence.
Another benefit of typing is that it allows children to easily save and organize their work. When writing by hand, children may struggle to keep track of their notes and assignments, leading to disorganization and frustration. By typing, children can easily save and access their work, making it easier to stay on top of their assignments and projects.
Overall, typing can be a valuable tool for children with poor handwriting speed. It allows them to communicate their thoughts and ideas more quickly, improve their spelling and grammar skills, and stay organized. Encouraging children to type, either through traditional keyboarding classes or through the use of assistive technology, can help them overcome their struggles with handwriting and succeed in the classroom.
If you are interested in getting your child to learn how to touch type at any of Searsol educational centres https://searsol.com/find-centers/